Around the Green
The latest golf-related news, notes, and feature stories from the TGA.
Yuan and O’Donnell Win at Collegiate Preview
Briefly: Bradley O’Donnell of Houston, TX wins the Boys Division of the LJT Collegiate Preview at one-over par with a final score of 214. Kaylee Yuan of Joshua, TX wins the Girls Division at two-over par with a final round of 215.
Winners: Kaylee Yuan came into today with her commanding lead from round one and two. Yuan went 71-71-73 to finish with a 215 overall claiming her first ever victory on the Legends Junior Tour. Houston’s Bradley O’Donnell carded a final round 72 to jump from second place and win. O’Donnell hit a phenomenal flop shot over the 18 green bunker to three feet for his birdie putt and secure the Collegiate Preview Title.
Top Finishers: In the Boys Division, Garlands Garrett McMellon shot an impressive 73-68-74 to secure the second-place position. McMellon hit a beautiful wedge shot out of the 18 green bunker to land the ball six feet from the hole. He then rolled his birdie putt in to put pressure on O’Donell’s three-foot putt. Tied for third place were Dallas’ Jack Clancy, Katy’s Shaunak Nair and Spring’s Asher Vargas all with a total of 216 for three-over par. In the Girls Division, Shady Valleys Country Club had their own woman’s club champion Annaelise Joiner compete this week finishing in second with a 248. Rounding out the top three of the girls division was Frisco’s Grace Kalina with a total of 250.
Golf Course: Shady Valley Country Club was founded in 1959 and was designed by C.H. Wilemon Jr. The par-71 layout is playing to just over 6,400 yards for the Boys Division and nearly 5,900 yards for the Girls Division. Featuring tree lined fairways, water features, and small green complexes, the course demands players hit a variety of different shots.
Weather: The final round featured clear skies and morning temperatures in the low 80’s, and ramped up to the high 90’s by the time the final putt dropped. Winds were calm during Tuesday’s play, topping out at 7 mph.
Tournament Format: The Collegiate Preview is a 54-hole stroke-play event for players ages 14-19 that have an active membership with the Texas Junior Golf Alliance. The event is divided into two divisions: Boys and Girls.
Texas Junior Golf Alliance: The Alliance is a joint venture between the Texas Golf Association, Northern and Southern Texas PGA and Houston Golf Association. The goal of the Alliance was to allow junior golfers a clear path to the best tournaments in Texas. Each of the three tier-two organizations (STPGA, NTPGA, HGA) conduct events that serve as qualifiers into the statewide tier-one events run by the Legends Junior Tour (LJT). This allows players to compete in local events in which they can earn spots to play in statewide tournaments.
Player of the Year Points: Kaylee Yuan and Bradley O’Donell each earned 1000 points in the Player of the Year Point Race. McMellon and Joiner will each earn 800 points for their second-place finishes. The top half of each division will receive Player of the Year points.
Tournament Exemptions: All players that finish in the top half of each division will earn points in the LJT Player of the Year Standings. The event is ranked by Junior Golf Scoreboard, Golfweek, and WAGR. In the Boys Division, Top 3 will receive exemptions into the Texas Junior Am, George Hannon Invitational Texas Junior Golf Alliance, 2024 Bluebonnet Championship and 2024 Byron Nelson Jr Championship. Top 5 in the Boys Division will receive exemptions into the 2024 Texas Cup Invitational. In the Girls Division, the Champion will receive an exemption into the George Hannon Invitational while the Top 2 will receive exemptions into the Texas Junior Golf Alliance Invitational. Top 3 will receive exemptions into the 2024 Texas Girls Invitational and 2024 Bluebonnet Championship.
Next Up: The LJT Lanny Wadkins Junior Championship will take place at Iron Horse Golf Club in North Richland Hills from July 10-11.